The Film (5/5)
Pixar has been on a bit of a sequel streak recently with Monsters University, Toy Story 3, and Cars 2 with only Brave as the original outside of the bunch. 2015 sees Pixar release not one, but two original films to theaters the first comes to Blu-ray this week and is quite possibly their best film since 2009's Up, Inside Out. Inside Out also quite possibly has the distinction of being Pixar's most conceptually interesting film ever.
Inside Out tells the story of Riley, Riley is a young girl who has spent her life in the suburbs of Minnesota, surrounded by friends, family, and her hockey team, and thus far has enjoyed herself. Her mind is occupied by 5 core emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Fear (Bill Hader). These are anthropomorphic representations of her emotions, and spend their time in a central control center controlling her emotional well-being, every night when Riley goes to sleep they take her memories from the day, and send them to a library of long term emotions. Any significant ones get filed with her core memories, and those become islands that shape her personality. Riley's Dad has had to move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco, CA. this causes complicated issues within Riley that her emotional beings now have to deal with, this becomes more complex, when her core memories get lost, and Joy and Sadness have to go on a mission to retrieve them leaving Riley without her ability to be happy or sad, just angry, disgusted, or afraid.
Inside Out is quite possibly one of Pixar's finest achievements in its over 20 year career. It's a film that manages to keep the all ages tone of its prior work making it a treat for all audiences. At the same time, it takes a concept as deep as deep as a persons psychology and emotions and manages to simplify it for a family audience.
The animation style used by director Pete Docter and his crew here is gorgeous with Riley's emotion have a warm fuziness around them that is quite charming, and the whole film blends solid natural design with gorgeous imaginative and colorful animation sequences. The performances across the board are stellar with the voice cast each perfectly encompassing their roles. The performances from the central command emotions of Poehler, Smith, Black, Hader, and Kailing who offer a wonderful sense of comedic timing and energy to Kaitlyn Dias as Riley who really taps into the emotions of a confused young girl with her low lows, and her highs.
It is probably no surprise to anyone reading that Inside Out is presented in a perfect 1:78:1 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer. The Blu-ray accurately represents what was shown in theaters, colors pop from the screen, detail is excellent throughout, and blacks are solid. I did not detect any issues throughout my viewing of the film.
The DTS-HD MA 7.1 track provided by Pixar is similarly excellent with score, dialogue, and ambient sound coming through nicely from all sides. I did not detect any issues with the track.
Pixar/Disney have included a nice slate of extra features including 2 short films (Lava and Riley's First Date), also included are interviews with the cast, crew, and even the daughters of the crew. Behind the scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, extra animations, extended scenes, trailers, and more.
Inside Out is one of Pixar's greatest films period, and is certainly their finest in over half a decade. It's nice to finally get a new original from the studio which has been busy making sequels in recent years. The Blu-ray looks and sounds wonderful, and has a nice amount of extras sure to please fans of the film. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.